Andrade Recalls Being Trapped In Saudi Arabia With WWE In 2019

"They treated us like kings at first but once we were done, we were stuck in this small airport."

Andrade has recounted his experiences of WWE's infamous Saudi Arabia trip that saw the bulk of the talent stranded in the country. 

WWE visited Saudi Arabia in October 2019 for the Crown Jewel event but more than 175 company employees became stuck at the King Fahd International Airport in the aftermath of the show. 

While a small plane was chartered to take a selected group back to the United States for Smackdown on the Friday, most were forced to remain in Saudi Arabia while issues were cleared up, with some reports suggesting Vince McMahon called for the feed in Saudi Arabia to be cut after failed payments. 

Former WWE superstar Andrade has now opened up on his personal experience of the situation, revealing that he told the promotion he would never work another show in Saudi Arabia again because his mother passed away while he was on the trip.

Andrade told Lucha Libre Online: “I think it was like two days they didn’t let us leave. We went into the plane, boarded, they told us there was something wrong with the plane. They made up a million stories. They told us a lot of different things.

"I think we went up the plane two times. We were already eating, some were sleeping and then they made us get off the plane. Cain Velasquez was there, Rey Mysterio too, guys with names. There were guys with their own planes. Some had to stay behind. They brought in a plane to try and bring the SmackDown guys because there was a taping. They made up a lot of things. 

"They treated us like kings at first but once we were done, we were stuck in this small airport. You could see some guys on the floor, falling asleep after waiting all day at the airport. I don’t know what the real story is, but they did not let us leave the country.

"The following week, we had a meeting with Vince. I spoke with those in the office and I said I didn’t want to return to Saudi Arabia. The money is good, but I don’t want to go to Saudi Arabia. They told us to talk to Vince, that it wasn’t that much of an issue and that it wasn’t happening again. Speak with whoever you want to, but I wasn’t going back to Saudi Arabia.

"You can’t imagine seeing these superstars on the floor like that, sharing protein bars because there wasn’t enough to eat. We spent two days there and were not allowed to go. I don’t know what really happened. The day there was a meeting, I didn’t go because I knew they would make something up. I remember that time vividly because my mom passed away while I was in Saudi Arabia."

H/T FightfulCarlos Toro & Luis Pulido

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Mitch Waddon

Written by Mitch Waddon

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